Stories Chosen For You
Last year, federal prosecutors began investigating Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and an associate, local Florida county tax official Joel Greenberg, over allegations that they transported an underage girl across state lines and paid her for sex. Ultimately, Greenberg was sentenced to 11 years in prison after substantial cooperation with authorities — but Gaetz never faced charges.
On MSNBC Thursday, national security expert Michael Schmidt explained a key reason that might be.
"In documents filed in connection with Mr. Greenberg's sentencing, the Justice Department said he, quote, 'provided truthful and timely information that led to the charging of at least four of other people and provided substantial assistance on other matters that the government would address only in a sealed filing,'" said anchor Nicolle Wallace. "Do you have any sense of what the other matters are, and if Mr. Greenberg is viewed as credible and witnessed Mr. Gaetz, quote, 'having sex with the 17-year-old girl'? I believe it's the same one and having evidence she was paid. Why Mr. Gaetz hasn't been charged with the same crimes that Mr. Greenberg was sentenced for today?"
"A high-profile matter is complicated for the Justice Department," said Schmidt. "The Justice Department, as you have seen, has moved very sort of methodically and, you know, at times, you know, according to the critics, slowly on the issues of politicians because they want to do a painstaking job to make sure they follow the evidence and the evidence is there to bring a case. It is — while we're supposed to be treated equally under the law, it is more difficult to bring a prosecution against a high-profile politician, a member of Congress that allied himself so closely with Donald Trump. And I think that if the department were to bring a case and lose a case, it would have enormous consequences."
Greenberg, by contrast, was much easier to go after, argued Schmidt.
"The decision to bring the charge in that sense against someone like Matt Gaetz is a much weightier decision than when the government had enormous amount of evidence against Joel Greenberg ... and could get him to flip and cooperate," said Schmidt. "He had a lawyer who realized that the only pathway to reduce his sentence time was to cooperate. Greenberg was looking at up to three decades in prison for his crimes. He was sentenced to 11 years. That's a significant departure. That was due to his cooperation."
Watch below or at this link.
Michael Schmidt on why Matt Gaetz wasn't charged with trafficking www.youtube.com
On Thursday, CNN reported that a federal appeals court dealt a massive blow to former President Donald Trump, ending the special master review of the documents FBI agents seized from his Mar-a-Lago resort.
"In a ruling on Thursday, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s order appointing a so-called special master to sort through thousands of documents found at Trump’s home to determine what should be off limits to investigators," reported Tierney Sneed. "'The law is clear,' the appeals court wrote. 'We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so.'"
The ruling overturns the review that was put in place by District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, who ordered the review after Trump requested it. Many legal experts considered this a stall tactic in a case in which the former president has potential criminal liability.
The three-judge panel on the 11th Circuit, which also included two Trump appointees, found that Cannon "improperly exercised" her authority, and to allow the review to proceed would "defy our nation's foundational principle that the law applies to all."
The special master himself, Senior Judge Raymond Dearie of Brooklyn, was himself skeptical of the way Trump and his attorneys were using his review.
Even before this ruling, the 11th Circuit had narrowed the scope of the special master review, holding that the Justice Department and intelligence community were entitled to at least the documents clearly marked classified, to conduct a national security review.
You break it, you own it. That’s what I was told as a child. But for today’s billionaires, it seems like the opposite is true.
“You own it, you can break it” — at least if you’re rich enough.
Just look at Elon Musk.
He paid a fortune for Twitter and is now busily destroying it — firing half its employees and driving out even more, causing chaos on the platform, making advertisers flee, and threatening bankruptcy.
Or consider Sam Bankman-Fried, who became a billionaire after founding the popular cryptocurrency exchange FTX — until he drove the company into bankruptcy.
Seems FTX was a Ponzi scheme that got out of hand. At least $1 billion in customer funds is reportedly missing.
These billionaires are presumed to be free from responsibility because they own what they’ve had a hand in destroying. So under the rules of capitalism, they have a right to do whatever they want with their money. Right?
Wrong. Millions have come to rely on Twitter as a vital source of information and connection. Investors put their money — and trust — in FTX. These people aren’t mere collateral damage. They’re bearing a big part of the cost.
“You own it, you can break it” is a careless norm for a complex society.
Do we really think that the super-wealthy should be allowed to control so much wealth and wield so much influence?
Absolutely not. We need stronger laws protecting the rest of us from the recklessness of these so-called “disruptors.”
Does Elon Musk Have a Right to Destroy Twitter? | Robert Reich www.youtube.com